Todays photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness is something special. It’s a colorkey photo.
A colorkey photo is an ordinary monochrome photo, but with one color left in its original color. In my photos I left the red color of the berries of this bush. Only very few plants keep their leaves during winter, and this is one of them.
It’s an European Holly (Ilex aquifolium) and it shows leaves and fruits. There are several species around. They grow up to 2 to 25 m, depending on the species. This species grows up to 10 -15 m, on a 50cm trunk and can get about 300 years old.
The fruits are toxic for humans, but many birds need them to survive during winter. The leaves are steady and have stingy ends, as you can see in the first photo. At the bottom I attached one photo in its original toning for comparison.
Sometimes you can find holly sprays in Advent wreaths and other christmas related decorations. But, it’s not that common (at least in my area).
The plant itself is protected by certain laws here in Germany. You’re not allowed to cut it without permission.
(as always: click on the photos to see them in a bigger size)